The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953
This is a companion book to The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999, available at DavesMusicDatabase.com as a standard book or ebook! In the beginning stages of writing that book, my intent was to write a “top 100 songs of all time” book. As I quickly discovered, most lists proclaiming to highlight “the best of all time” seem to be under the impression that music didn’t exist prior to 1950. I decided to retool my project to focus on the rock era and put together another book focused on the “forgotten years.”
This is the result. As always with DMDB lists, the rankings are determined by aggregating multiple best-of lists and factoring in songs’ sales, chart stats, and awards. It should be noted that in the pre-rock era there were often multiple versions of a song. In fact, some best-of lists did not list a specific version. When the latter occurred, all versions of a song were given points. Once all points were compiled, only the top version of a song was included in this list.
1. Bing Crosby “White Christmas” (1942)
11. American Quartet “Over There” (1917)
21. Gene Autry “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1949)
31. American Quartet “Moonlight Bay” (1912)
41. Duke Ellington “Mood Indigo” (1931)
51. Glenn Miller “Chattanooga Choo Choo” (1941)
61. Red Nichols “I Got Rhythm” (1930)
71. Larry Clinton with Bea Wain “Deep Purple” (1939)
81. Artie Shaw “Frenesi” (1940)
91. Gene Austin “My Melancholy Baby” (1928)
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Originally posted 6/23/2012. Last updated 4/3/2021.